How to Interview for Independence

Even in this Agile era of increased collaboration in IT, it is sometimes important to judge someone’s affinity for independence in a technical role. You might get a hint at a sense of independence from their resume, especially in the professional experience section. Still, the interview gives you the best chance of determining whether or not a candidate possesses this trait.

Here are a few ideas on how to determine a candidate’s independence during the interview. Leverage these insights to help ensure your organization hires the right person.

Ask the Right Interview Questions to Gauge a Candidate’s Independence

As noted earlier, asking the right questions is vital to determine how well a candidate works without the help of others. Here are a few examples of these kinds of questions for use when interviewing technical job applicants:

  • Ask the person to describe a situation when they encountered difficulty figuring out a problem. Did they perform all the research by themselves; ultimately coming up with a workable solution? On the other hand, did they need help from a coworker to figure out the issue?
  • Trying to solve a nagging problem on their own without assistance offers a glance at a candidate’s independent nature. Follow up this line of questioning to see if this is how they normally work or only a one-off situation.

Determine the Extent of Their Authority and Loyalty

If a candidate remained loyal to a previous employer even when they didn’t agree with all their actions or policies, this is a good sign they are able to think independently. Ask them to share an example from earlier in their career where this attitude caused an issue – either good or bad. Pay close attention to their body language when answering.

Later in the interview, find out how much authority they had at various times throughout their career, and if they ever felt the need to go beyond those limits to initiate a project or fix a troublesome issue. If they show these traits of being a self-starter, this is a good sign they possess the independent nature that your organization needs.

Whenever you need additional advice on building a talented technology team in your office, talk to the experts at Venteon. As one of the top technical staffing agencies in the Midwest, we offer the top candidates able to make a positive difference for your company. Schedule some time with us soon!



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